Email irritations.

I really need to learn to ignore those stupid emails everyone loves to send you with all sorts of trivia that are supposedly 100% true facts. All they do is get me in trouble when I invariably investigate how true said facts really are. Take the most recent example my wife forwarded to me from an email she had forwarded to her from my very own mother. In it is a list of 26 true or false questions for which the answer for all of them is supposed to be “true”. Things such as “Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a bellybutton” and “Without the coloring added to Coca-Cola the popular drink would be green.”

The first statement is patently ridiculous at worst and highly misleading at best. Of course Alfred Hitchcock had a belly button, though he may have “lost” it after an operation on his belly that supposedly required surgeons to remove it. The second statement is just wrong. Coca-Cola would be a relatively clear liquid without the coloring. Cola is brown because back when it first was invented making it a dark brown color helped to hide any impurities (read: floaties) in the bottle. How’s that for a disgusting trivia fact? These days there’s little need to cover up impurities (we hope) so the only reason it’s still colored brown is because that’s what people expect colas to look like.

That’s the problem with emails like that. They spark my curiosity and I look into how true all those supposed true facts are because I have this stupid need to question popular beliefs. Then I end up sharing what I’ve learned and no one appreciates it. So I need to resist responding to those emails as I just piss people off. Go ahead and forward your uselessly incorrect trivia around, but leave me out of it. I don’t need the aggravation they inevitably cause.

46 thoughts on “Email irritations.

  1. I had the same response as you when I read the Hitchcock bellybutton item in the NY Times Quiz.  I also took exception to the item about the rabbit and parrot being the only animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads.  Several species of lizard (such a Chameleons) have eyes that allow them to see in all directions without turning their head.

  2. Thank God someone else has this insane desire to prove these useless facts as fiction.  I, too, spend time trying to disuade people from believing everything they read on the Internet, but noone seems to want to hear about the truth.  They really hate it when you correct them in public.

  3. that is hilarious, I found this site, by trying to prove each one of those stupid facts incorrect.

    I too like Les, just end up pissing people off, but I found it rewarding for a brief moment that I might help some poor soul stop believing everything they get in email, so they will then stop forwarding it to me smile

  4. Well, if you guys don’t already know about it then bookmark the Urban Legends webpage. They’re one of the best spots to go when you need to debunk the latest email glurge you get in your inbox. They not only check things out, but they cite their sources. I have a few other links I check as well, I should probably make a whole link list full of them.

  5. I got that same e-mail.  I sent a response back with researched comments to each of the “truths”, especially the Alfred Hitchcock thing:
    Every human ever born had a bellybutton.  Without one, the embryo would have no way of receiving nutrience while inside it’s mothers womb.  If he didn’t have a bellybutton, his birth would have been a quick miscarriage.

    What do you think of this one:
    40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

    57,600 people a day for dog bites?  That’s a lot of dog bites.

  6. me, too …. me, too …. me, too—- i found myself searching the internet to see if these things were really, really true—and voila! … i find some instant friends!!

  7. OMG, I am yet another person who found this site b/c I wanted to disprove the “fact” that Alfred Hitchcock doesn’t have a belly button.

    hehe smile


  8. And I’d really like to know how sneezing stops your heart and all other bodily functions. It doesn’t usually kill me.

    It’s a shame that 92% of the population believes this crap.

    There, another fact to add to the list.

  9. Amazing how few people actually think to investigate what shows up as ‘fact’ in their email. The rest of my family think I’m crazy because I want to disprove this garbage… oh well, says a lot about you average “man on the street,” doesn’t it?

  10. Indeed. The emails of the sort that I listed here, where it’s largely a set of occasionally true trivia statements, don’t annoy me as much as the people who forward you little “uplifting stories” that are somewhat true, but exaggerated beyond credibility.

    One of those, for example, is about how Al Capone’s lawyer, Easy Eddie, ends up deciding to turn in his famous mobster boss so that Eddie’s son will have a good name. His son later grows up to be legendary WWII fighter pilot Butch O’Hare who supposedly single-handedly keeps an entire squadron of Japanese bombers from destroying an entire fleet of American warships and has an airport named after him. The moral being that even someone who was so bad he worked for the worst of the mobsters could turn over a new leaf and by his good example produce a son who is this side of a superhero.

    Problem is it didn’t actually happen quite that way or for quite those reasons. The email’s tale of Butch’s daring is ridiculously exaggerated. Butch did do some pretty heroic stuff in helping to defend an American fleet of ships that was under attack by Japanese planes against overwhelming odds, but it’s not the near-Superman level achievement that the email makes it out to be. I have the link to the real history around here someplace and I’ll provide it if anyone is curious. Additionally the motivations of his father to rat out his gangster boss had very little with his desire to turn over a new leaf and clear his own name. More of a seeing-the-writing on the wall and getting a few favors from the Feds than anything else. Which totally destroys the moral of the email that was sent out as well as distorting history.

    Those sort of emails really piss me off. The O’Hair name was cleaned up by the actions of the son, not the father. By implying the father had anything to do with it in order to promote some trite morality concept diminishes the accomplishment of his son.

  11. My least favourite ‘facts’ are the ones related to what’s visible from space.

    I have heard, perhaps a gazillion times, that the Great Wall of China is visible from space.

    ‘Ha’, says I.

    It might be long, but it isn’t very wide; you would be more likely to see I-95 through the states, or the QEW from Toronto to Niagara Falls, but you can’t.

  12. Maybe Alfred Hitchcock had surgery (tummy tuck) where the bellybutton was removed later in his life ?…….just askin……..

  13. Oh my god!!! I got the same list of statements in an e-mail and i found this site while trying to find out if coke would be green or not. I know that the toothbrush WAS invented in 1498. can someone please find out if the rest are true or not and then post it somewhere or a link to it? that would be great.

  14. gosh, soulmates!

    just got an email with some silly “facts” and went to my favorite site – – I just LOVE hitting reply all and posting the link that disproves the theory that deoderant causes cancer, or whatever the warning du jour is.
    Found this site looking for something official-sounding about Alfred H.‘s bellybutton. 

    didn’t realize there were so many others out there who don’t believe everything they read.  I feel better about the future of the world!

  15. ok i guess im an idiot because i thought it was a real fact that alfred hitchcock didn’t have a bellybutton! thank u everyone who made me realize im dumb haha

  16. I have to admit that I’m surprised at how much response this entry has generated. I used to think that I was the only one who got annoyed at these sorts of emails, but it’s clear I’m not the only one.

    The problem is when I try to be helpful and point out how ridiculous these emails are all I end up doing is pissing off one of my family members for “being so arrogant” and replying to people that I “don’t even know.” Ignorance really must be bliss.

  17. And, Mel Gibson’s face wasn’t destroyed when he was a teenager!  Please all you naive people out there – think a little.  Don’t believe everything you read.  Believe 1%. And this post is the 1%.:smile:

  18. What about the kneecaps??  Really, who would possibly believe that a two-year-old child could walk around with no kneecaps???


  19. Glad to see I was right in deducing the Alfred Hitchcock and rabbit/parrot false before checking.  I’m impressed other people checked too.  Incidentally if it does come your way in another annoying email, a duck’s quack does echo.  That was a metaphor for ‘some questions have no answers’ that got mistaken as fact.

  20. 9. The average person over fifty will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

    That’s 2.4 hours everyday waiting in lines! Not usually..

    Below is the whole quiz:

    > >Which of the following statements are either true or false?
    > 1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the
    > 2. Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a bellybutton.
    > 3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 yrs.
    > 4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it’s from being indoorsa
    >lot more.
    > 5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop even your heart!
    > 6. Only seven ( 7 ) per cent of the population are lefties.
    > 7. 40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.
    > 8. Babies are born without knee caps. They don’t appear until they
    >are 2-6 yrs. old.
    > 9. The average person over fifty will have spent 5 years waiting in
    > 10. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.
    > 11. The average housefly lives for one month.
    > 12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.
    > 13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.
    > 14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.
    > 15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than the rest of the day.
    > 16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.
    > 17. The REAL reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to
    >search for water.
    > 18. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning
    >it’s head are the rabbit and the parrot.
    > 19. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in “An Officer and a
    >Gentleman” and “Tootsie.”
    > 20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State
    > 21. In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of
    >white paint and a little thinner
    > is used in place of the milk.
    > 22. Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same
    >airplane just in case there is a crash.
    > 23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato
    >can for a carburetor.
    > 24. Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from
    >women who give birth. They
    > are reused in vein transplant surgery.
    > 25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were7th
    > 26. If coloring weren’t added to Coca-Cola, it would be green .
    > Scroll down for answers


  21. haha.  first thing i did after reading that email….was search about Alfred Hitchcock bellybutton….and found this site.


    ALSO…i’m tired of watching the SLEEP NUMBER commericials on TV!

  22. I just received this exact same email this morning. I was very surprised when it said all were true! What a crock…I hope people out there don’t take this crap seriously! All useless legends as far as I am concerned. I’m glad I found your site and could vent…ha ha ha ha

  23. I just now got this particular tripe in my inbox. I have decided to pull a hoax of my own. I’m going to send an email to an email account which I know does not exist. Take the “bounce back” message I get, change a few things accordingly, then whenever someone fwds me this stuff, I intend to “fake a bounce” back to them. This way they will think my email doesn’t exist anymore.

    I’m tired of trying to debunk this stuff while at the same time trying to be kind while asking them not to send this stuff. ANYthing that makes a statement, a claim, then stops there, without even any attempt at commensurate evidence to back it up, is something that one should confirm first before sending it on. Instead, I have to do all the work to debunk it, while their lazy bums got off easy: it’s so EASY to hit that fwd button.

    Well I’ve had it up to my back teeth with it. The fake-bounce is the only answer. At least it’ll get me off their email address books. (Hopefully.)

  24. I found this site because of the Alfred Hitchcock bellybutton myth too. A girl at work today told me he was born without a bellybutton. When I questioned her about how he was attached to his mother she said he was attached to her by his wiener!!!!!  I though i would pee myself laughing. I guess his name is appropriate “HITCH-COCK”!!!

  25. Whatever gets ya here Leesa and welcome to it all. Funny conversation you had there. Reminds me of the co-worker who told me about Colonel Sander’s genetically altered chickens. Yeah, THAT story.

  26. It is August 2004. I got the email. From my sister. I know it’s a pack of LIES. Looking for the proof, I found all of you who came before me. Want to know something funny? When I was a teenager, I told my sister that “Gullible” wasn’t in the dictionary, and she said “Really?”. 

    Try it on some of your friends. You know, the ones who send you emails that say you eat spiders in your sleep.

  27. well I actually just found out on another site
    that Alfred Hitchcock didin’t have a belly button after an surgical operation.
    I guess that’s possible.
    Off course he was born with it. cheese

  28. I just got this email, it strikes me as funny becuase the person that sent it to me is typically a sane and reasonable person. I may have to re-evaluate that individual. The three items that bug the me most are; #10 – anthropologists know that apes use sticks that have been chewed to make a “bristle end” as a toothbrush for several thousand years. #24 – DUH! Hospitals make money off of patients and insurance companies. #25 – aren’t we all 7th cousins.

  29. haha, i’m yet another who stumbled appon this site while searching to debunk the stupid trivia chain letter where everything is supposedly true.  Its nice to see others, it makes me feel less paranoid like i’m no longer this one man force trying to stop these rediculous emails

  30. I GOT THAT E-MAIL TOO! OMG AND I’M SO PATHETIC AND ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT! haha but then i decided to reasearch it and i found this site… haha frickin e-mails… they’re so stupid! tongue wink

  31. Technically…I was born without a belly button.  So it is possible.  When I was born my organs where outside my body and my umbilical cord went straight into my stomach.  Therefor, I never had a bellybutton at birth.

    Food for thought.

  32. <



    Good Bye to 2005!

    I want to thank all of my friends who have taken the time and trouble to send me those very important chain letters over the past year.
    Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.

    Because of your concern…

    I no longer can drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
    I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put “Under God” on their cans.
    I no longer drink anything out of a can because I will get sick from the rat feces and urine.
    I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
    I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
    I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
    I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
    I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
    I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don’t support our American troops.
    I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the
    phone bill from hell with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan .

    I no longer eat pre-packaged foods because the estrogens they contain will turn me gay.
    I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
    I no longer date the opposite sex because they will take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.
    I no longer have any sneakers—but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.
    I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
    I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me and St Theresa’s novena has granted my every wish.
    Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
    (Jeeze, the BIBLE did not mention it works that way!)

    I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).
    I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending
    me for participating in their special e-mail program.
    Yes, I want to thank all of you soooooooo much for looking out for me!
    I will now return the favor. If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds,
    a large bird with diarrhea will crap on your head at 5:00 pm this afternoon and the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits.

    I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of a friend of a friend’s neighbor’s cousin twice removed.

    Happy New Year!

  33. Ah – kindred souls. I too found this site while debunking some of those “facts”. The belly button and the rabbit and the parrot bits were the triggers for me. Of course if your were born you had a bellybutton, and horses can also see behind – any animal with eyes on the side of their head instead of the front can. The 7% lefties is of course an estimate and a changing one at that… I ould go on but don’t have the time.

  34. It doesnt say he was BORN without a bellybutton. It said he didnt have one/ He had a surgery from what I can find so far.

  35. Oh my goodness!!  I can’t believe people are as crazy as I am to check out the facts.  I’m one of those people who do research to find out truths about these “factual” emails.  My friend forwarded this stupid email to me, too.  Nobody but me researches it and piss people off if I correct them, too.  My husband says I’m anal about this stuff.  That was good to know about the coke that the brown color was added to hide impurities.  And you’re absolutely right, Alfred Hitchcock had to have had a belly button at some point in time or he wouldn’t have been born.  These emails drive me nuts.

  36. I have a friend named Doyle who sends me this crap all the time.

    I once said, “there’s a lot of crap and junk floating around out there on the internet,” and he got so mad I thought the old guy (75) was going to punch me.

    “Don’t knock the internet,” he said, with a “or I’ll kick your ass” intonation in his voice.

  37. Even in July 2011 this damn email is still making the rounds, or possibly making them again I suppose. Funny thing is, these facts are STILL just junk!

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